Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame inducts new members

Posted at 11:34 PM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-05 00:34:09-05

On Saturday, 37 people were inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in front of around 600 people during the 11th annual Circle of Wagons Convention.

The event was held at the Best Western Heritage Inn in Great Falls.

The Hall of Fame recognizes and honors people from the Treasure State’s past, as well as present-day Montana farmers, ranchers, artists, and community members who embody the spirit of the old west.

MTN reporter Josh Meny got to meet some of the new inductees and family members.

Donald Patrick Hogan was born in 1930 in Gold Creek, Montana. 

He was the second oldest of ten siblings, and grew up on a ranch during the Great Depression era. After graduating high school, he worked at a timber mill. At 20, he enlisted in the Marines eventually seeing two years of active duty in the Korean War. 

Upon returning, he worked at the Pioneer Placer Mine & Dredge. Eventually starting a summer job in Butte loading cattle, he met his wife Betty, and began a successful more than 40 year career in cattle auctioning ; 20 years with Great Falls Livestock and 25 with Western Livestock. 

Hogan explained, “I went to work for the Great Falls Livestock in the old stock yards over there, 50 years go. And, we had angus association feeder sale in the first part of November. We sold 44 hundred calves on that sale that day.”

That night, they loaded 44 carloads on the Great Northern Rail Road which transported the calves to feeder-markets in the Midwest. 

Another inductee, the late Samuel Russell McDowell, was born in 1929 in Deer Lodge. He too served in the Korean War and earned several medals for his actions on the battlefield. 

In 1955, Sam married his wife Jewel, known as “Jay.” They then started a family and began a ranch in Anaconda, MT. Eventually Sam and his family formed one of the largest ranches in Montana, The Sam McDowell Cattle Company. 

It expanded into three counties and ran 1,500 mother cows and more than 1,500 yearlings.

Sam also performed as a pick-up man at the famous Calgary Stampede in 1971 and 72. Sadly, in 1979 his two boys died in a car crash. His wife Jay passed away to cancer in 1999. Sam passed away last March at the age of 86. His daughter Saundra is the only the one left in their nuclear family. 

Shauna Webb said, “Dad would never accept it, he was a real humble man, but I thought it was important that his legacy grows on. We’re carrying it on with our family and our ranch in Oklahoma.”

William Jr. “Chuck” Hubing was born in 1924 in Glendive. He started working with cattle early on with his father at their ranch in Terry, MT. He says he skipped high school and went straight into cattle ranching. 

He did everything he could to acquire cattle and land. He married Marjorie in 1947, and they settled on some land on the north side of the Yellowstone River. Everyone in his family embraced the ranching lifestyle. He leased land in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. 

Eventually in the 1960’s and 70’s, Chuck got involved with a cattle operation called the Big 10, where Montana cattle ranchers leased land in the Australian Outback. His career spans 70 years and many ranching operations. 

Hubing recalled, “We had tough winters, dry summers, high interest, and a few other things floated in there, but we made them work. 

And when asked what advice he has for younger cowboys of today? Hubing’s answer is simple: "Cowboy up!”